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Compare and Contrast Paragraph

This Prezi discusses how to write a compare or contrast paragraph.
by

Ryan Rague

on 23 September 2014

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Transcript of Compare and Contrast Paragraph

Ask yourself: What am I comparing or contrasting?
Compare Or Contrast Paragraph
A compare/contrast paragraph does one of the following:
demonstrates similarities between two things,
demonstrates differences between two things,
Fruit
Round
Has Seeds
Grows on Trees
Fruit
Round
Has Seeds
Grows on Trees
Similarities
or both.
Differences
Color: Orange
Inedible Rind
Color: Green
Edible Rind
Comes in many colors
Comes in one color: Orange
Grows on Trees
Comes in one color: Orange
Has Seeds
Inedible Rind
Comes in one color: Orange
Round
Fruit
Color: Green
Edible Rind
Comes in many colors
Has Seeds
Fruit
Round
Grows on Trees
Writing the Compare and/or Contrast Paragraph
Step One: Identify the subjects for comparison
Since we've been using apples and oranges thus far, let's use apples and oranges as our
subjects
for
comparison or contrast
.
Step Two: Brainstorm a list of similarities and differences using a
Venn Diagram.

Portions of the data from this brainstorming session will become sections of the compare or contrast paragraph.
Similarities
Differences
Differences
Many Colors
Edible Rind
Red
Comes in only one color
Inedible Rind
Orange
Various Types
Various Sizes
Have Seeds
Fruit
Round
Grow on Trees
Place the Differences between the Two Subjects Here
And Here
Place the Similarities between the Two Subjects
...Here
Step Three: Draft an outline for your paragraph
Ask yourself: Which similarities or differences do I want to talk about in my paragraph?
(Hint: Select the ones you can provide the most information about.)
Hmmm... Should I compare or contrast?
Hmm... I have more similarities than differences. It will probably be easier for me to write about how apples and oranges are alike since I have more information in the center of the diagram...
As a general rule when writing paragraphs or essays,
include at least three examples
...in this case, three similarities to talk about in the paragraph.
But which ones should I choose?
Tip: CHOOSE THE ONES YOU CAN ELABORATE ON (DISCUSS) THE MOST.
This makes it easier to develop supporting sentences. The more you know about a topic, the easier it will be to write about.
How many examples should I include?
Hmm... I think I'll talk about this one...
And this one...
And this one...
Now that I've selected the three similarities I want to talk about, I can brainstorm some notes to generate some ideas on what I should say in the paragraph.
Round
an apple is round
an orange is round
both are shaped like a ball
both fit nicely in the palm of your hand
Grow On Trees
both fruits grow on trees
large numbers of apple trees can be found in Washington
large numbers of oranges trees can be found in Florida
both grow high above the ground
Have Seeds
apples have black seeds
oranges have white seeds
seeds from both fruits are bitter
Now that I've chosen whether to compare or contrast
(compare)
, which topics to compare
(round, grow on trees, have seeds)
and how many similarities to discuss
(3)
, and generated a list of notes, here's how my outline might look on paper:
Topic: Apples and oranges are similar.
Round
both are round, shaped like a ball, fit nicely in palm of hand
Grow on Trees
each fruit is picked from a tree, lots of orange trees in Florida, lots of apple trees in Washington, ladders are needed to pick both types of fruit
Have Seeds
apples have black seeds, oranges have white seeds, seeds from both fruits are bitter, seeds should not be eaten.
Supporting Idea 1: First key idea that supports the topic sentence. Arrange key ideas from weakest to greatest. Begin with a transition.
Step Four: Use the template below to write your first draft
Topic Sentence: A single sentence introducing what you will talk about in the rest of the paragraph. Do not use a personal pronoun (I, we, she, he, you, they, them, etc.) Should include a compare or contrast word.
People often talk about apples and oranges as though they have nothing in common which doesn't make sense because the two are actually quite similar.
Topic Sentence
Use advanced transitions to increase your chances of a better grade. First, second, third, etc. is too simplistic for high school students.
Hmm... Of the three similarities I've listed, they idea that both apples and oranges are round is probably my weakest or least interesting detail. I'll begin with that as my first
supporting detail
.
One important similarity is that apples and oranges are round.
Supporting Idea 1
Advanced transition...
Weakest Supporting Detail
Explaining/Example Sentences: 2+ Sentences explaining or elaborating on the
first key idea.
As anyone who has ever eaten an apple or an orange knows, both fruits are shaped like a sphere. This shapes allows either fruit to rest perfectly in the palm of the consumer's hand.
Two Explaining
Example Sentences
Supporting Idea 2: Second key idea that supports the topic sentence. Arrange key ideas from weakest to greatest. Use a related transition.
Another important similarity is that both fruits grow on trees.
Advanced Transition
Second-Best Supporting Detail
Supporting Idea 2
Explaining/Example Sentences: 2+ Sentences explaining or elaborating on the
second key idea.
Visitors to Washington State will see acres and acres of apple trees dripping with ripe apples. Similarly, groves and groves of orange trees span the terrain of states like California and Florida.
Explaining/Example Sentences: 2+ Sentences explaining or elaborating on the
third key idea.
Two Explaining
Example Sentences
Two Explaining
Example Sentences
Supporting Idea 3: Third key idea--strongest--that supports the topic sentence. Arrange key ideas from weakest to greatest. Use a related transition.
And finally, the last important similarity is that apples and oranges have seeds.
Advanced Transition
Strongest (best) Supporting Detail
Supporting Idea 3
Apples are littered with black ones, while oranges are peppered with white ones. The seeds from each fruit are impalpable with a discordant bitterness.
Conclusion Sentence: remind your readers of your topic using synonyms
(words that mean the same).
If it fits, try using one these words or phrases in the final sentence:
all in all, in conclusion, to sum up, certainly, in fact, truly, clearly, obviously, definitely
, or
surely
.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER BRING UP A NEW TOPIC.
Conclusion Sentence
Clearly, even though many people act as though comparing apples to oranges is absurd, the two fruits have several similarities.
-from Step Up to Writing
Conclusion word
Restated topic
Step Five: Revise... make sure you have the following...
Topic Sentence
Key Supporting Idea One
Key Supporting Idea Two
Key Supporting Idea Three
...along with an appropriate transition
...along with an appropriate transition
...along with an appropriate transition
Two+ Example/Explaining Sentences
Two+ Example/Explaining Sentences
Concluding Sentence
...that doesn't bring up a new topic
Next, make sure you've avoided the Forbidden 15 (these words aren't descriptive enough for interesting writing.
A link to the Forbidden 15 is provided in your MBC resource link.
Correct any mistakes you may have made and submit once you've completed all the steps and included all the necessary information! When finished, you should have something like this:
People often talk about apples and oranges as though they have nothing in common which doesn't make sense because the two are actually quite similar. One important similarity is that apples and oranges are round. As anyone who has ever eaten an apple or an orange knows, both fruits are shaped like a sphere. This shapes allows either fruit to rest perfectly in the palm of the consumer's hand. Another important similarity is that both fruits grow on trees. Visitors to Washington State will see acres and acres of apple trees dripping with ripe apples. Similarly, groves and groves of orange trees span the terrain of states like California and Florida. And finally, the last important similarity is that apples and oranges have seeds. Apples are littered with black ones, while oranges are peppered with white ones. The seeds from each fruit are impalpable with a discordant bitterness. Clearly, even though many people act as though comparing apples to oranges is absurd, the two fruits have several similarities.
Organization of the Compare or Contrast Paragraph
Topic sentence that introduces the two subjects of comparison or contrast.
Supporting Idea #1: Sentence that introduces the first point of comparison or contrast.
E Sentences: Sentences explaining or elaborating on the first supporting idea.
Supporting Idea #2: Sentence that introduces the second point of comparison or contrast.
E Sentences: Sentences explaining or elaborating on the second supporting idea.
Supporting Idea #3: Sentence that introduces the third point of comparison or contrast.
E Sentences: Sentences explaining or elaborating on the third supporting idea.
Conclusion sentence restating the topic sentence in a new and interesting way.
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